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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources June. 24, 2010

Redistricting debate gets started in San Antonio
The San Antonio Express-News    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Democrats and Republicans agreed on several points this week at a 3 1/2-hour redistricting hearing in San Antonio. They agreed that congressional and legislative districts should be equitable, that rancorous bickering is no way to construct a legislative map, and that the days of partisan gerrymandering in this state must end. But the devil is always in the details when it comes to redistricting, a point that U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, noted early in the proceedings. "In a way, it's fitting that this is the longest day of the year, because this is going to be a long process," Smith said. More

New home sales plunge 33% with tax credits gone
The Associated Press via El Paso Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sales of new homes collapsed last month, sinking 33 percent to the lowest level on record as potential buyers stopped shopping for homes once they could no longer get government incentives. The Commerce Department says new home sales fell in May from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual sales pace of 300,000. That was the slowest sales pace on records dating back to 1963. More

Push to limit house sizes in South Austin surprises some
The Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The debate was heated, protracted and hard to miss when Austin in 2006 limited the size and shape of houses that could be built in the central city, hoping to curb an influx of large homes that residents said damaged the character of their neighborhoods. The City Council is scheduled to vote on similar rules today for a swath of South Austin. But this time, large and politically savvy neighborhood groups have not rallied masses of people. More

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Kinky Friedman poised to make endorsement in governor's race
The Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
GOP Gov. Rick Rick Perry? Democratic challenger Bil White? Naaah. Former candidate for governor (and for agriculture commissioner) Kinky Friedman plans to endorse a once-homeless dog in the governor's race, according to Austin Pets Alive. More

In fighting voter ID's, Democrats take on tough task
The Dallas Morning News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas Democrats have staked out political ground that trumpets their beliefs and will ignite supporters at the party's state convention this week — protecting the rights of eligible citizens to vote. The only problem – especially for a political party that hasn't won a statewide office in 15 years — is that when it comes to whether voters should have to show a photo ID, 70 percent of Texans disagree with the Democrats. Most Texans believe that if they need one to rent a video or get on a plane, it makes sense that there should be equal safeguards for the ballot. More

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Straus draws challenge from fellow Republican
The Houston Chronicle Texas Politics Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
State Rep. Leo Berman, known for his efforts to crack down on illegal immigration, filed paperwork today to challenge fellow Republican House Speaker Joe Straus of San Antonio. Berman, of Tyler, concedes that his challenge hinges entirely on Republicans winning enough seats in the November election to hold at least 83 of the 150 House districts. Republicans currently have a 77-73 majority. More

FAA approves drone to fly along border from Brownsville to El Paso
The Brownsville Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Federal Aviation Administration has approved a flight plan that will allow an unmanned aerial vehicle to fly along the border from El Paso to Brownsville. The announcement comes after several federal legislators sent letters to FAA Administrator J. Randolph Babbit urging him to open airspace above the border that would let U.S. Customs and Border Protection fly UAVs, as part of an effort to secure the nation's border. More

White pitches college-for-all education plan
El Paso Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White promised to make college accessible for every Texan who wants to attend. "I will work to make sure that no Texas student is prevented from attending a four-year or two-year institution based on financial reasons," White said before an appearance at El Paso Community College. "One tool that I will use with partners in the Legislature is to create a program where people can attend a university for a reduced tuition in exchange for a service commitment that is concrete and useful." More

Many Texas school districts uncertain about budgeting for pay raises
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Many Texas school districts are having to set their budgets for the new fiscal year without knowing if they are required to increase teacher pay. With a lack of guidance, some districts, including Keller and Fort Worth, are hedging their bets and increasing pay, despite multimillion-dollar budget shortfalls. More

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